Stuff that occurs to me

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Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmx DOT com

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Friday, 17 December 2010

Collaborative mapping of Greenwich's salt bins using Google maps

Today I rang Greenwich Council's Highways department (020 8921 5419) to find out (a) if they could grit my local pavements and (b) tell me where the salt / grit bins so that I could make a start on it myself, if feasible.

EDIT: I've since found this.
Greenwich Council FAQ "Where can I get rock salt for gritting my road or driveway?"
"You can buy bagged rock salt from your local builders’ merchant usually. We do not sell salt."

After being cut off twice I finally managed to speak to someone who read out a bit of a page of their website about the fact that the salt bins were vastly reduced in number because of budgetary constraints and vandalism. I asked if there were any near me and they managed to suggest one, admittedly not too far away but in slippy weather what's normally a ten minute walk can last a lot longer. Although they said the gritting team should be out in a couple of hours I'm pretty sure (from a look outside my window) that they haven't been. They were very helpful though and happy to try and find information for me, even though (as I discovered later) they weren't able to find the information I wanted.

I searched Twitter and Google to see if there was any better information about salt bins and spotted that @mysociety had tweeted about someone who'd created a Google Map for Sutton's grit bins and other #gritdata maps. Eventually, I managed to find the very PDF from which the council person had read bits of to me. Clearly they'd not spent much time familiarising themselves with the document as Appendix F contains the full list of local salt bins in Eltham, Greenwich (including Blackheath) and Woolwich. There are quite a lot of them, and plenty are near me. Why wouldn't someone specialising in the gritting of highways in Greenwich not know this?

Surely they could promote this data and encourage people to map it themselves - Greenwich is not short of community-minded nerds.

I decided I'd have a go at creating a Google map cos I've never created one before and it sounded like a good project. I tweeted that I'd found the information and @greenwichcouk got in touch saying they had thought about a Google map too. We collaborated (I have to say, I added really only about ten blue marker points, the bulk of the work was done by @greenwichcouk - EDIT, I have since done a goodly amount of Eltham ones) and the resulting map is embedded below, can be viewed and edited on Google, is on Greenwich.co.uk's site and that of Charlton Champion.


View Greenwich & Blackheath gritting: location of salt bins in a larger map

I'm very pleased with how it's turned out - it was nice to collaborate with someone local to create something that we hope others will find useful, if nothing else it reminds people that we can use data in interesting ways to benefit the local community. It would be nice to think that it might get used to de-ice the pavements though, and of course the next phase of the project is to find a shovel and get out there to my nearest salt bin and get shovelling.

Areas listed below in orange are mapped - instructions on how to edit are further below.

Eltham
CASTLEWOOD DRIVE BETWEEN 68 AND 70
WESTMOUNT ROAD OUTSIDE 118 (SHOPS)
WESTMOUNT ROAD OUTSIDE 148 (SHOPS)
ROCHESTER WAY JUNCTION OF GLENESK (NORTH) UNDER FOOTBRIDGE
COURT ROAD (SHOPS) JUNCTION OF PORCUPINE CLOSE
THE MOUND OUTSIDE LIBRARY WILLIAM BAREFOOT DRIVE
WILLIAM BAREFOOT DRIVE OUTSIDE 77/79
FOOTSCRAY ROAD OUTSIDE 404 SHOPS
FOOTSCRAY ROAD FRONT OF LIBRARY
FOOTSCRAY ROAD SHOPS OPPOSITE BEEHIVE PUB J/O BLANMERLE ROAD
FOOTSCRAY RD J/W BLANMERLE
FOOTSCRAY ROAD OUTSIDE SCHOOL OPPOSITE 327
BEXLEY SERVICE ROAD ON RAMP AWAY FROM TELEPHONE BOX OPP SHOPS
cannot find 'Bexley Service Road'
GREENHITHE CLOSE JUNCTION OF HAMBLEDOWN ROAD
NEWMARKET GREEN S/O P.O
SIBTHORPE ROAD OPPOSITE P.O
LYME FARM ROAD J/O WEIGALL ROAD
CRAITHIE ROAD J/O STRATHAVEN ROAD
HORN PARK LANE J/O UPWOOD ROAD
RYLAND CRES OPP 19 - it's Ryelands!
ALNWICK ROAD O/S SCHOOL
KINGS ORCHARD OP BOB HOPE THEATRE
ROCHESTER WAY ALLEY TO DUMBRECK
COURT ROAD J/O WOODMERE
ARCHERY ROAD J/O STATION APPROACH PATH
ALLENSWOOD ROAD NR J/O DUNBLANE ROAD
HEATHERBANK S/O 13A
GLENLEA S/O GLENHOUSE
GLENLEA S/O BEECHHILL
GLENLEA S/O BALKASKIE
OAKWAYS S/O 28
WEST HALLOWES 39
SPEKE HILL J/O BUCKLER GARDENS
CROCKHAM WAY OPP 10
HEVERCROFT 18
BROWNSPRINGS J/O DOMONIC DRIVE

Greenwich
FRANCES STREET, JUNCTION OF SAMUEL STREET (BOTTOM END)
FRANCES STREET, S/O L/C 17, JUNCTION OF SAMUEL STREET (TOP END)
FRANCES STREET O/S FLATS 289-393
SAMUEL STREET, OPPOSITE 118
ARTILLERY PLACE J/W REPOSITORY ROAD
WOOLWICH CHURCH STREET J/O CHURCH HILL
FERRY APPROACH, LB NEWHAM SIDE, S/O RAMP
CHARLTON LANE, OPPOSITE LANSDOWNE LANE
THE HEIGHTS, OPP 2
FLETCHING ROAD, OPPOSITE LANSDOWNE LANE R/O COOP
CHARLTON CHURCH LANE, JUNCTION OF THE VILLAGE
CHARLTON CHURCH LANE, OPPOSITE WELLINGTON GARDENS
HUMBER ROAD J/O DINSDALE ROAD PART WAYDOWN HILL
HALSTOW ROAD ON BRIDGE, JUNCTION OF HUMBER ROAD
STRATHEDEN ROAD S/O THE STANDARD PUB
BEACONSFIELD ROAD, JUNCTION OF BEACONSFIELD CLOSE
HYDE VALE, O/S NO 56
POINT HILL, JUNCTION OF WESTGROVE LANE
POINT HILL, JUNCTION OF WINFORTON STREET
CHARLTON ROAD, O/S SHOPS
CHARLTON ROAD, ON BRIDGE OVER BTSA
CHARLTON BROAD, TOP OF WESTCOMBE HILL
OLD DOVER ROAD S/O CHIP SHOP
PROSPECT VALE OPP 71 ON REDMAC FOOTWAY
INVICTA ROAD OPP 22 ON CONCRETE VERGE
RUSTON ROAD S/O POST BOX REAR OF FOOTWAY
VANBRUGH HILL OPP ANNANDALE ROAD ON WIDE FOOTWAY
RIDEOUT STREET IN CORNER ON BEND
CORELLI ROAD ON TARMAC VERGE OPP 48
WYNDCLIFFE ROAD OPP 26 IN FRONT OF GUARD RAIL
MAIDENSTONE HILL OPP DABIN CRESCENT
MAIDENSTONE HILL IN FRONT OF HEDGE OPP 14
KINVEACHY GARDENS J/O WOODLAND TERRACE
THORNTREE ROAD S/O 20
THORNTREE ROAD S/O LC 12 - one marker given for both 20 and 12
BRAMSHOT AVE JNC OF EASTCOMBER AVE

Woolwich
MOORDOWN J/W CONSTITUTION RISE
DONALDSON JUNCTION OF MOORDOWN ON ROUNDABOUT
MOORDOWN JUNCTION OF CONDOVER ON ROUNDABOUT
MOORDOWN JUNCTION OF ANKERDOWN ON ROUNDABOUT
EGLINTON HILL JUNCTION OF SHREWSBURY LANE S/O 93
EGLINTON HILL JUNCTION OF BRENT ROAD LINE UP WITH L/C
PLUM LANE OPPOSITE ROWTON ROAD
SHREWSBURY LANE JUNCTION OF OCCUPATION LANE
KENILWORTH GARDENS JUNCTION OF CROWNWOODS LANE
SANDY HILL ROAD JUNCTION OF CRESCENT ROAD
DURHAM RISE S/O WAVERLEY ROAD
GOSSAGE ROAD J/O GRIFFEN ROAD O/S FLATS
BUNTON ST S/O RIVERSIDE HOUSE
MANTHORPE ROAD JUNCTION OF VICARAGE PARK
DALLIN ROAD (TOP OF STEPS) S/O 45 - 47
NITHDALE ROAD (TOP OF STEPS) S/O 39 - 41
SLADEDALE ROAD NEAR JUNCTION OF LAKEDALE ROAD
BOSTALL HILL JUNCTION OF HOWARTH ROAD
BOSTALL HILL JUNCTION OF ROCHDALE ROAD
BOSTALL HILL J/O BOSTALL LANE
BOSTALL HILL ON BROW L.H.S
BEXLEY & GREENWICH HOSPICE
VIEWLANDS ROAD O/S 26
MASON HILL/ANGLESEA KERB SIDE
ELMDENE/BIGNELL S/O 19 BIGNELL
ELMDENE/WILLENHALL S/O ELMDENE COURT
CANTWELL/RIPON BACK OF PATH
CANTWELL/BRENT BY STEPS
CANTWELL/PAGET RISE S/O SNP LC 10
PLUM LANE /BRIINLOW (SOUTH) S/O SNP
PLUM LANE/BRINKLOW (NORTH) BETWEEN LC & BOLLARD O/S 3
DALLIN ROAD S/O 45
DALILIN ROAD /MAYPLACE LANE S/0 LC 4
NITHDALE/MAYPLACE LANE BY SUB STATION KERB SIDE
GENESTA / MAYPLACE LANE S/O 1 BY LC
GENESTA /WROTTESLEY S/O LC BY SNP
GENESTA VERNHAM S/O 75 VERNHAM
PLUM LANE/GENESTA O/S SCHOOL
ROWTON/ADMASTON S/O SNP COMMON SIDE
HINSTOCK/OVERTON S/O 33
UPTON/ENNIS BY RAILINGS
PALMERSTON/PLUM LANE S/O 43
BRAMBLEBURY/HEAVITREE LC 9
MAJENDI S/O 1
BREWERY ROAD/CHESTNUT RIASE BY POST BOX BACK OF PATH
PARKDALE S/O 98 BY SUB STATION
TORMOUNT.OLD MILL ROAD O/S CHURCH HALL
PARKDALE /SLADEDALE S/O 67
LAKEDALE/TEWSON O/S 137 BY WALL
PLUMSTEAD HIGH STREET/KENTMERE S/O 121
PLUMSTEAD HIGH STREET/BARTH ROAD S/O 141
PLUMSTEAD HIGH STREET/ BANNOCKBURN S/O SCHOOL
RIVERDALE/SAUNDERS S/O SNP
TYMOUTH/RIVERDALE O/S 58
WINNS COMMON / RIVERDALE S/O SNP COMMON SIDE
WINNS COMMON / PURRETT BY SNP
ROCHDALE / BOSTALL HILL
BOSTALL LANE / BOSTALL HILL
ROCKMOUNT / GROSMOUNT S/O SNP
HEATHFIELD / BASSANT S/O LC 1
GILBOURN / BASSANT S/O SNP
WARLAND / WELTON S/O LC 24

How to edit Google maps - you will need a Google account to do this
1. Open the link to the Greenwich grit map
2. Open in a new tab or window another version of Google maps so that you can search for roads without disturbing the map you're editing.
3. Check that someone hasn't already done the road you've picked by using Ctrl+F to find its name in the list (note that there is a PAGE 2 as well!), if it's not there, proceed :)
[Until I get around to re-ordering them, the most recently added is at the bottom]
4. Find the location of the road (and the relevant junction if appropriate) in the spare Google maps page, then in the grit map page use the zoom in / out buttons and grab and drag the map image to bring the relevant area into the viewing panel.
5. Click on Edit (which is at the top of the list of roads added, in the left hand side panel. A small panel of icons will appear, click on the blue placer mark icon to launch a floating marker which will follow your mouse.
6. Position the x part of the marker where the bin is located, wait for the little dialogue box to appear and place whatever Greenwich Council has labelled this bin in the larger window, writing a title in the top,
eg.
Bostall Hill / Howarth Road
BOSTALL HILL JUNCTION OF HOWARTH ROAD
7. Press Save and continue to add more if you're inspired, otherwise press Done.
8. Thank you :)

3 comments:

  1. There's rather a gaping lack of grit bins to the east of the A205.

    ReplyDelete
  2. If you've got a Google account you're more than welcome to add missing bins. I'll need to double check if we've got everything from that PDF and can certainly add some more. @Darryl1974 has put out a call to Lewishamites for them to add and expand.

    ...Or it could be that there really is a gaping lack of bins in that area; I understand that bin numbers are down this year.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice one. I see some more Eltham ones have been added to the map (though the one on Heatherbank missing?) - I don't know how to do the Google Map thingy! Let's hope this info is only useful to public-minded citizens rather than those with other motives...

    ReplyDelete

Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).